Thursday, January 17, 2019

Poetry Friday Is Here!

"But I got saved by poetry. And I got saved by the beauty of the world."
- Mary Oliver

I'm heartbroken at the loss of Mary Oliver. I have so many well-worn volumes of her work. My Yin instructor often reads her poems and essays as we settle into positions for extended periods of time. So many people I know count her as a favorite, myself included. It saddens me to know her voice has fallen silent. In light of her passing, I'm sharing this poem.

In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

If you have a chance, take some time to listen to this On Being episode with Mary Oliver. You won't regret it.

I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. Happy poetry Friday all.

Poetry Books and Some History
Laura Purdie Salas introduces us to her new book coming out this springSnowman-Cold=Puddle. Woohoo! Congratulations to Laura!

Renee LaTulippe is sharing the second episode of The History of American Children's Poets with Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Original Poems
Matt Forrest Esenwine is sharing a poem about his step-grandfather, birds, and the Saint who connected them all.

Tabatha Yeatts is sharing an original poem entitled The Fortitude of Eyelashes.

Kathryn Apel is linking to her #MoPoetry2019 Insta-Poems, a lovely marriage of poetry and images.

Sally Murphy is sharing her first Poetry Friday poem for 2019, entitled A Lucky Home.

Michelle Kogan is sharing a golden shovel poem inspired by a line from a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. Her poem is entitled True Peace.

Kiesha Shepard is honoring Mary Oliver in sharing her poem entitled Delight and inviting us to write with her.

Molly Hogan is sharing an "I am" poem and two storm-related haiku.

Mary Lee Hahn is sharing six ekphrastic haikus with German translation and the story behind them.

Heidi Mordhorst is bringing us smiles as she shares poems written by 2nd graders.

Irene Latham is sharing a continuation of her Butterfly Hours memoir project. Her poem is written to the prompt word "broom" and is named the same.

Liz Steinglass is sharing two senryu she wrote this week for her many friends and neighbors who work for the federal government.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is honoring Mary Oliver with her poem entitled Wild and Precious.

Over at Deo Writer, Joan Mccullough shares an original poem inspired by Mary Oliver and a meadowlark.

Carol Labuzzetta shares a color poem of yellow, inspired by the work of Mary O'Neill.

Margaret Simon is sharing a wealth of poems today, including two by Mary Oliver and an original poem entitled A Misty Mary Morning.

Catherine Flynn shares a golden shovel she wrote using the words from the Mary Oliver poem Instructions for A Life.

Poems of Others
Laura Shovan is sharing thoughts about tidying, "stuff" and a poem by Judith Viorst. And there's George Carlin in one of my favorite bits ever!

Linda Kulp Trout is sharing a tribute to Mary Oliver and her poem The Summer Day.

Linda B. is also sharing a remembrance of Mary Oliver and a prose excerpt from her book Upstream.

Over at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, Diane Mayr is sharing Moon and Water by Mary Oliver.

Jama Rattigan introduces us to her Blue Bear and shares the poem Joy Soup by William Palmer.

Little Willow is also sharing the Mary Oliver poem A Thousand Mornings.

The folks at Gathering Books are sharing Love Poem by Maggie Smith.

Tanita Davis is sharing her thoughts on Mary Oliver and two poems of hers, Whistling Swans and The Gift.

Ruth is remembering Mary Oliver and sharing past posts that highlighted her work.

Karen Edmisten is sharing an excerpt from the Mary Oliver poem Breakage.

Joan McCullough is sharing an excerpt from Mary Oliver's book Felicity.

Susan Bruck is also sharing Mary Oliver today with her poem The Swan.

Poetry Projects and Exchanges
Linda Mitchell is sharing all the lovely postcard poems she received as part of Jone McCullough's postcard exchange. These cards sport original poems written by the senders.

Kortney Garrison invites us to sign up to join the Peace Poetry Postcard exchange in February.

Carol Varsalona invites us to join her in capturing the sights and sounds of the season and using them to create artistic poetic expressions  for her annual winter gallery challenge.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Ringing in the New Year with My Poetry Sisters

My sisters and I have committed to another year of poetry challenges. We were a bit late on deciding this month's, so I tossed out a few photos from an exhibition on campus and asked folks to write to an image. 

I chose Alphabet Portfolio by James Stroud and Matthew Carter, a series of 26 prints of the letters of the alphabet in different typographical formats.

My poem was inspired by May Swenson's Cardinal Ideograms, one of my favorite poems about numbers and what they resemble.

Linguistic Ideograms, a Dyslexic's Nightmare

a   face in profile sporting
a 50's pompadour

c   the dinner plate between
the bread and drink
(join forefingers to thumbs
and you'll see what I mean)

e    the tip of a pig's tail

f    a tree whose crown is
weighed down with snow

g    crooked 8 written by a hand
touched with Parkinson's

h    holy hell! how many more
of these?

eyes tortured by symbols
on the page
there's a broken ladder, open zipper,
winding garden hose, a camel's back
but ...
no words
no sentences
no sense

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my poetry sisters at the links below. Andi and Kelly are out this month, but they will be back with us soon.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Happy new year and happy poetry Friday friends!